Year: 2010

  • Soylent, the macro made of people

    More on this question of crowdsourced writing, (plugging wet-ware into software) comes Soylent, (yes, it’s made of people) a research project which has written a add-in to Microsoft Word. Hooked into Amazon Mechanical Turk, this project offers three services: Shortn – trim document length without changing meaning Crowdproof – distributed human proof-reading The Human Macro – […]

  • Textbroker.com – low cost, bespoke content

    So the results are in from our little experiment and the view is . . . you get what you paid for. Just to review. Textbroker.com is a service which will write for you on the topic of your choosing. They have a four levels of service and pay by the word. For our experiment, […]

  • Jon Stewart’s Closing Remarks

    Jon Stewart’s closing speech at the Rally to Restore Sanity was brilliant. On mass media the most tweeted line of the day was, “If we amplify everything, we hear nothing.” Viewing the United States political process from Finland, I have to say the “fun-house mirror” through which Americans portray themselves is a bit comic. Europeans […]

  • Outsourced Thinking

    Last week a colleague of mine tweeted about a new service that offers “exclusive written articles created to your specifications” I replied that Udo might be stretching the definition of “professional” if we look at the quality of output. Cranking out “content” on demand for pennies a word, one has to wonder about the thought […]

  • Built-to-order

    Custom, made-to-order merchandise was a feature of the fashion industry for many years. Think Saville Row custom made suits way back or mail order catalog goods such as the L.L. Bean monogrammed tote bag or Land’s End sweater. Recently, online sites have brought customized fashion to the footwear industry. Adidas and NikeiD sites below feature […]

  • Social Media Isotope

    I moved my blog from a dedicated host over to Laughing Squid’s cloud service (thanks Frank and Zahaib for your help!). Some hiccups with the images coming over on the wrong directory but some delicate SQL surgery fixed that. Think of this post as a sort of Social Media isotope to make sure that what […]

  • User-Driven Development

    It’s one thing to put yourself in the shoes of your potential customers and think about how to solve their pain points but it’s entirely something else to pretend that this product already exists and think about how you would market it. This is the approach at Amazon and I think it’s quite effective. It’s […]

  • Re-Skinning Facebook

    Stumbled across a quick and dirty side project that uses Facebook’s social graph api to pull your newsfeed and present an alternate display. Try it yourself at Facebook-me.com.

  • Nokia N8, Big and Small

    The promotional drumbeat grows ever louder as we get closer to the release of Nokia’s new handset, the Nokia N8. Nokia’s marketing machine is a wonder to see in action. Two promotions I thought particularly clever are both world record breakers and nicely bookend the catchphrase for the device, It’s not technology, it’s what you […]

  • Laura Miller Kennedy 1925-2010

    My Grandmother passed away earlier this month and although I could not make it to her memorial service in upstate New York, I did send along the following anecdote to share with those attending. I will miss her but she lived a very full life and lives on in her stories. Laura Kennedy, my Grandmother, was a […]